Starting a blog for your business is a great way to answer customer’s questions, drive traffic and conversions, stay updated on your industry and work your way towards becoming an industry expert and thought leader. If your small business doesn’t already have a blog, start one. When you’re just getting started with your blog, choosing en effective design and layout will be one your biggest tasks. Not sure what makes a great blog layout? These 5 tips can help you get started.
1. Use a Responsive Web Design.
As smartphones continue to take over, more and more of your potential customers and clients will want to access your blog from their phones. A responsive web design can adapt to any screen size or resolution, so it will always display as intended. Though it may seem tempting to save money by using a template, investing in a professional web design company will ensure that you get a high-quality, custom responsive design. A good website design will last a long time, leave a good impression on customers and look professional and polished.
2. Make Social Sharing Buttons Easily Accessible.
Your blog’s main purpose is to bring more recognition to your business. If you create great content that answers customers’ questions, addresses common problems and provides valuable information, readers will undoubtedly want to share it. The more shares you get, the more traffic your blog and website will receive. But, readers don’t like having to search for social sharing buttons. Make sure you have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn sharing buttons displayed at the top, bottom and even the sides of your content.
3. Choose a Vertical Alignment, Simple Fonts and few Colors.
Visually, your blog should be easy to digest, load and scroll through. A simple, single-column vertical alignment will keep the reader’s attention focused on the content in the center of the page. Use no more than 2 or 3 different fonts and be sure they’re all easy to read at any size. Though it’s good to incorporate colors, don’t go overboard. Use just your standard brand colors and make sure you don’t use more than 2-3.
4. Leave Plenty of White Space.
In design, white space isn’t a bad thing. Leaving white space gives the design room to breathe and it gives readers’ eyes time to rest. While you don’t want huge gaps of space on your blog, having an inch margin of white space on either side of your content is a good rule of thumb. Keep sidebars relatively uncluttered as well. While you can certainly have a few items in your sidebar, don’t completely overload them with links, boxes, featured followers or pages.
5. Make sure your Pages Load Quickly.
Pages that take a long time to load are a huge turn-off for readers. While there are many reasons a page loads slowly, it’s especially common on blogs and sites with a lot of images. Even if you have an image-rich site, you can help your pages load faster by using images that are optimized for your blog. Choose only images that fit the dimensions of your blog’s posts. You can also display fewer posts per page or just display parts of an article with a “Read More” link after the first few paragraphs.
A good blog with a solid design is one of the best ways to keep people on your site. The longer readers stay on your blog, the more likely they are to check out other parts of your website and take a converting action like buying something or leaving their contact information. These 5 tips can help you design a blog that readers want to visit often and spend plenty of time browsing.